The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has responded to two Parliamentary inquiries which are considering the future of the National Lottery.

The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched a call for evidence to consider whether there needed to be changes in the operation of the National Lottery ahead of the new licence being awarded in 2023.

ACS has also responded to the House of Lords Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, which is consulting on the entire gambling industry, including the minimum age of play for lottery products.

In both submissions, ACS set out its initial position to proposals by the government to increase the minimum age of play for National Lottery scratchcards. ACS outlined that if the government decides that the age restriction for scratchcards should be increased, it will work with convenience retailers to ensure that the change is implemented effectively across the sector. However, if the age restriction on scratchcards is moved to 18, ACS recommended that the government should increase the minimum age of play for all National Lottery products, including draw-based games to 18.

Data from the 2018 Local Shop Report shows that 82% of convenience retailers offer lottery products.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops are extremely effective in enforcing age restrictions and if the government chooses to increase the minimum age for purchasing lottery products we will to promote compliance in the convenience sector including through our Assured Advice Scheme”

Separately, the Department for Digital, Culture, Sport and Media is consulting on the minimum age of play for National Lottery games, which ACS will be responding to. The government is consulting on three options: do nothing; raise the minimum age to 18 for National Lottery instant win games such as scratchcards and online instant win games; or raise the minimum age to 18 for all National Lottery games.